Book by: Lieberman, Devorah, ed., Wehlburg, Catherine, assoc. ed.
Review by: Jeremy J. Hernandez
Higher Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) Department
Michigan State University

Volume 20 of the To Improve the Academic series explores issues and strategies related to providing successful faculty development opportunities. Articles examine the challenges faced by faculty developers and report effective solutions for issues at a university, departmental, and individual unit level (xiv).  Although some of the articles discuss abstract theories, the editors make a point to focus on the results seen from actual initiatives and specific strategies currently in practice.

The first section provides broad background to the challenges faced in changing faculty behavior. Many advisors will have a particular interest in Richard Tiberius’ article on how teaching paradigms historically affect faculty developer’s approaches to change (p. 20-37). Articles in the second section focus on current initiatives at a variety of institutions. Advisors seeking to institute new faculty development programs may find articles in this section the most useful as authors provide specific program examples such as the ‘Inclusive Practices Portfolio’ program at the University of Washington (p. 128).  Ideas for addressing underlying faculty beliefs that can challenge change efforts are also discussed (p. 155). 

The final section focuses on successful change at the individual level.  Included here are useful tools such as how to take advantage of faculty cultural opportunities to successfully implement changes (p. 211) and a “graphic syllabus” to supplement a traditional syllabus (p. 242).  Most articles contain appendices with the measurement instruments used and recommended reading lists for further exploration.  Many readers will find these resources especially useful.

One especially significant goal identified in this text is that, “learning strategies [must] be taught by all faculty members, not just learning center faculty” if an implemented change is to be truly successful (195). As such, the book would be most useful tool to advisors interested in faculty development and the improvement of teaching especially since Editors Lieberman and Wehlburg extend an invitation to the reader to contact article authors with questions about a particular program or initiative (xv).  Therefore, I would recommend this book to any advisor thinking about implementing a change that would affect faculty teaching and/or development.


To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development, Volume 20. (2002). Book by Lieberman, Devorah, ed., Wehlburg, Catherine, assoc. ed.  Review by Jeremy J. Hernandez. Boston: Anker Publishing. 328 pp. (paperback). ISBN 1-882982-46-0.


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